Volume 48 (2011)

Volume 48 (2011) / Issue 2

Rostane Mehdi, 'French supreme courts and European Union law: Between historical compromise and accepted loyalty' (2011) 48 Common Market Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 439–473


Over the past few months, the relations between French supreme courts and EU law seem to have entered an era of reassuring transparency and clarity. This contribution will mainly focus on two rulings rendered by the French supreme courts ("Conseil d'Etat" and "Cour de cassation"), each dealing with an aspect of the relations between national and EU law. The Perreux ruling rendered by the Conseil d'Etat put an end to one of the oldest disputes between itself and the European Court of Justice: the obstinate refusal, since 1978, to recognize the direct effect of directives. By its Melki ruling, the Cour de Cassation made a reference for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ regarding, inter alia, the compatibility of the new French "priority preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality" (PPRC) mechanism with EU law. The article tries to show how, in the light of a real rule of reason, the national courts and the ECJ managed to specify the terms of a relationship structured around an unyielding necessity: the protection of fundamental rights. This virtuous dialogue is itself structured by procedural systems which contribute to strengthen decisively the coherence of the European legal order.

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ISSN: 0165-0750
ID: COLA2011019